2012 DUFF Race Begins

Votes are now being accepted in the 2012 Down Under Fan Fund race. North American DUFF Administrator John Hertz and Australian DUFF Administrator David Cake very recently held a telephone conversation and determined to select a delegate to travel to Australia/New Zealand despite the tight scheduling — votes will be accepted until midnight May 31 (PST).

The contenders are Juanita Coulson and Murray Moore, however, while Coulson is running with the intention of making the trip, Murray Moore’s platform actually advocates no one be sent — 

“…[My] unusual position is that, if elected on this ballot, I will not attend the Australian national SF convention June 8-11 in Melbourne. Furthermore I encourage you to join me in voting for Hold Over Funds on this ballot.”

Juanita Coulson (London, Ohio, U.S.A.) — NA nominators Sue & Steve Francis, Chris Garcia, Joyce & Arnie Katz; ANZ nominators Bruce Gillespie, Marc Ortlieb.

Murray Moore (Mississaugua, Ontario, Canada) — NA nominators Hope Leibowitz, Spike, Art Widner; ANZ nominators Cath Ortlieb, Bill Wright.

Eligibility and other voting information appears on the ballot linked below:


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13 thoughts on “2012 DUFF Race Begins

  1. To prevent a candidate winning the race and having to take a compromised or rushed trip, and to avoid the necessity to inconvenience potential hosts (assuming a sufficient number can even be found on this short schedule), I urge people to support the fund but to vote Hold Over Funds.

  2. I arge people to support the fund but to vote Hold Over Funds. Such a short time frame is unfair to both the winner and their potential hosts in Australia & New Zealand, and pretty much rules out the opportunity for the winner to attend the New Zealand NatCon.

  3. I’m supporting a vote for hold over funds. I’m sad to be following this course, but I feel the winner will have almost no time to plan their trip, and almost certainly won’t be able to make the New Zealand natcon the week before, which would be a real pity.

  4. Overnight, the ballot for the 2012 Down Under Fan Fund has been posted. You can find a .pdf of it here:


    The candidates are both good people and good fans and well deserving of winning a fan fund race. However, this year I’m going to vote “Hold Over Funds” and I urge all of you to do so as well. For reasons I can only speculate about, the race was called for so late in the year that no reasonable possibility now exists for a winner – any winner – to make a successful DUFF trip, and I believe it would be far better to hold those funds over for a later – better timed – DUFF race.

    DUFF itself is a good fannish institution and deserves our support and our donations, so I will indeed be sending in a ballot with my small check this week. But I’ll vote “Hold Over Funds”. I hate having to do this as the candidates are fans I know and respect, and I wish to point out that *they* are the innocent victems in this sad situiation.

    In my opinion the current US DUFF administrator – John Hertz – has not provided sufficient information to Fandom about the circumstances leading up to this situiation. I call upon him to issue a full statement of why the 2012 DUFF race was neglected for so long, and to work with Austrailian Administrator David Cake to develop a new plan to call for a follow-up DUFF election at an appropriate time. The 2012 race as currently posted is irredemably compromised at this point in time, and I see no better alternative than to vote “Hold Over Funds”, and to urge all fans to do the same.

    As far as I know, Austrailian DUFF administrator David Cake is blameless in this matter, as are the current candidates.

    Curt Phillips
    [email protected]

  5. Or you can use the ballot available in the post you are commenting on. Sheesh.

  6. I copied that notice to The Southern Fandom Classic discussion Group, Mike. That’s why I added the pdf link from Dave Langford’s website. No offense intended towards FILE 770.


  7. What you did was fine, though I’m sure you’ll know what I mean in saying that triggered my Fred Allen\Jack Benny reflex.

  8. Down Under means Australia and New Zealand, let’s not forget: and the opportunity to attend two four-day conventions on successive holiday weekends in the two countries is now lost, unless the administrators advance the closing date.

    UnCONventional, the NZ Natcon in Auckland (time zone GMT +12) officially starts June 1st at 5pm, and anyone leaving North America would have to be on a plane May 30th at the latest to make it.

    It would be almost impossible, as well as expensive, even to make the Australian Natcon a week later, as the plane booking would have to be paid for out of funds not released until close of ballot.

    I’m sure the electronically-handicapped John Hertz did his best.
    Whatever the circumstances that led to this. I hope something can be saved from the wreckage.

  9. Curt says: “As far as I know, Austrailian DUFF administrator David Cake is blameless in this matter” Thought I should clarify that usually, both administrators collaborate on initiating and administering races regardless of the side of the Pacific that is hosting the delegate.

  10. Janice makes a good point above. That’s why I wrote “as far as I know…” because the truth is that we really don’t know enough about how the current situation concerning DUFF came to be because we haven’t heard (at least, *I* haven’t heard) any substantial statements from either John or David on the matter. I do think it’s important that the DUFF administrators should increase their levels of communication. I mean, by that, that they should be talking more with each other and that they should be talking more with both the group of past DUFF delegates and with Fandom in general so that they can work with those fans most interested in the future of DUFF to effect the best possible outcome for the 2012 DUFF campaign, and to make sure that future DUFF campaigns are spared this sort of issue.

    And again, I urge all fans to support the fund by voting. The best way to be part of the solution – any solution – is to participate in the process, and that means voting. I have my ballot printed out and ready to mail; do you?

    Curt Phillips

  11. My DUFF rant:

    Earlier today, very reluctantly, I mailed in my DUFF ballot, voting for “Hold Over Funds.” There were several reasons for my reluctance.

    I know both of this year’s candidates and, under other circumstances, think either would have made a fine representative and administrator of the fund. After much reflection, however, I decided that it was not fair for the candidates to have to plan a trip under such a short time frame, and it would be unfair for the fund to have to cover the cost of a last minute trans-Pacific flight. Still, I think that I owe Juanita and Murray an apology for my vote., and I hope it will not be viewed as a reflection on their qualifications.

    Speaking of apologies, I have yet to hear what I consider a real apology from either administrator as to why there was such a long delay in “officially” beginning this race. (See http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-types-apologies-that-arent-apologies-at-all/ or http://tinyurl.com/bnmstpc) Even if the administrators, for whatever reason, do not believe that they owe the voters and other supporters of the fund an apology, I think that, at the very least, an explanation as to why there race was set up so that it would be impossible for the winner to attend the New Zealand NatCon and very difficult to attend the Australian NatCon.

    (At the same time, I would also like to see an explanation as to why the administrators found it necessary to enhance the candidates bios, something I do not remember seeing on any prior ballot.)

    In addition, by voting for “Hold Over Funds,” it appears that the same NA administrator would also be in charge of any 2014 Southbound race. I’ve yet to hear any type of assurance that the same type of problems will not occur then.

    As a long time supporter of DUFF (as well as a past unsuccessful candidate), I believe that those who support the fund deserve more in the way of communication than I have seen from the current administrators. For that reason, I was seriously considering not voting this year. In the end, however, I realized that DUFF is important to me and I thought that I would do my small part to aid in its survival.

  12. Without getting into the other issues, I’d like to say that I think that “adding biographical information” — and I’ve looked at the ballot to examine the specific language, to be clear — is a dreadful idea that should be never done again.

    Simply put, deciding what does and doesn’t count as a credit/credential worth mentioning is largely subjective. Administrators *can’t* be in the position of subjectively choosing what is and isn’t worth touting about different candidates. Administrators *can’t* be in the position of writing subjective recommendations.

    There’s no valid argument for it: the candidate and/or the candidate’s supporters are responsible for the candidate’s platform. If the administrators think the platforms are insufficient, it’s not the job of the administrators to try to further influence, nor risk influencing, nor risk giving the appearance of influencing, the voters in *any* way.

    What they’ve done is, however well-intentioned, and I’m entirely sure it is nothing but well-intentioned, wrong.

    Setting aside the pros and cons of anything else. I make this point hoping this practice isn’t repeated.

  13. Last night, I received (in response to my May 17 rant) a very pleasant phone call from NA DUFF administrator John Hertz. Why I do not feel that I am the person to set out his position, and I am not in agreement with all of it, I do think that I have a better understanding of what occurred, and I am glad that he took the trouble to respond to what I wrote.

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